By: 23 February 2024

Former CEO Sarah Williams-Gardener has taken on the role of chair at FinTech Wales

FinTech Wales appoints Sarah Kocianski as CEO

FinTech Wales, an independent association that advocates for the industry, has announced Sarah Kocianski as its new chief executive officer. Former chief executive officer, Sarah Williams-Gardener, took on the role of chair at the end of last year.  

Launched in 2019, FinTech Wales helps and supports its members, and uses the “power of the collective voice” to be heard by governments and influencers in the financial services space. It aims to develop an ecosystem that will encourage and attract new fintechs to start or scale in the region.  

Kocianski has worked with global organisations and startups across the financial services industry and beyond, including insurers and healthtechs. Kocianski works with several fintech membership groups, including Qorus. And sits on the committee at WVC:E, working with the VC industry to improve equality in the investment ecosystem.  

Before this, Kocianski led strategic insights at Founders Factory, where she supported financial services partners, including Aviva, with their fintech investment strategies.  

On her appointment, Kocianski said: “Having worked with fintechs in countries all over the world, I know firsthand the harsh realities of founding and scaling a fintech business, particularly when it comes to funding and investment strategies.  

Kocianski believes Wales has an amazing reputation as a fintech hub, thanks to the innovation and talent it has.  

She continued: “I can’t wait to continue the significant work that the FinTech Wales team does to support these businesses. And champion what Welsh fintechs have to offer on local, national and global stages. 

“This is a great time for fintech. With a lot of resources at our fingertips, I’m confident we can do even more to make Wales an influential fintech hub on a global level.” 

FinTech Wales is in the third year of its four-year strategy to support fintechs in Wales. The strategy focuses on skills and talent, ecosystem and community, funding and investment, and promoting Wales as a place for fintech.  

On her replacement, Williams-Gardener, said: “We aimed to find a leader with extensive experience to support and foster the growth of fintechs in Wales.  

“Sarah epitomises this ideal, boasting invaluable knowledge in the industry. Her expertise and unwavering dedication to support fintechs underscore her alignment with FinTech Wales’ mission.” 

A five-year £1.6m investment in FinTech Wales was announced by Cardiff Capital Region in 2022.  

Image: FinTech Wales 

Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.